Pope Francis: Latin America Has Great Human and Spiritual Potential

Entrusts Fruits of Recent Apostolic Visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe During Angelus Address

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In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled his recent Apostolic visit to South America, thanking God as well as the people of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay «for their affectionate and warm welcome & enthusiasm.»

The Holy Father began by reflecting on today’s Gospel from St. Mark in which Jesus was moved with pity for the crowds who followed him and who were «like sheep without a shepherd.» The Pope said that the reading gave a glimpse into what Jesus saw and felt with his heart.

The Gospel evokes three words he described as «the verbs of the Shepherd»: to see, to have compassion, and to teach.

«The first and the second, to see and to have compassion, are always associated with Jesus’ attitude: in fact his gaze is not the gaze of a sociologist or of a photojournalist, because he always sees with the ‘eyes of the heart,'» he said.

From this compassion, the 78 year old Pontiff said, comes Jesus’ desire to «nourish the crowds with the bread of his Word.»

«Jesus sees, Jesus has compassion, and Jesus teaches us. This is beautiful.»

The People of God in Latin America

Continuing his address, Pope Francis said that he asked that the spirit of the Good Shepherd would guide him during his recent visit to Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. He thanked the people, the governments, and the clergy for their welcome and participation during his visit.

«With these brothers and sisters, I praised the Lord for the wonders He has done in the People of God in that land, for their faith that has animated and encourages their lives and their culture,» he said.

«The Latin American continent has great human and spiritual potential, they guard deeply rooted Christian values, but also live through grave social and economic problems.»

The Argentinian Pontiff confirmed the Church’s commitment in announcing the Gospel to those most in need of hope. He also recalled his invitation to the people of Latin America to draw from Christ the strength to spread the Word of God, «so that the strong religiosity of that people can always be a faithful witness of the Gospel.»

Concluding his address, Pope Francis entrusted the fruits «of this unforgettable Apostolic Visit» to the patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

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On ZENIT’s website:

For the full text of the Holy Father’s address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-the-verbs-of-the-shepherd

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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